Annual art-related events “ROKKO MEETS ART 2021” and “The Night Museum” have been held in the Mt. Rokko area. It’s undoubtedly a sign of the times, visitors would naturally feel the vibes and elegance of autumn. In this season, many of the facilities in the area are offering their unique services to welcome visitors. And here on Mt. Rokko, a new facility was newly born. It’s a whisky distillery “Rokkosan Distillery” which amazingly gives visitors serenity and a feeling of calm in a quaint and peaceful atmosphere.
The Rokkosan Distillery is situated on the highest altitude in Japan and it’s the only whisky distillery in the Kobe area. The Rokkosan Distillery Kobe produces their original whisky by using water from Mt. Rokko. Kobe has been known as one of the largest and famous international port cities in Japan. Since the opening of the port of Kobe (in 1868), a vast number of travelers and merchants from across the world have visited Kobe. In the old times, the water from Mt. Rokko was an indispensable item for them and was highly regarded as the water which could be preserved during their long sea trips. And even now, the Rokko water is widely acknowledged as one of the best water brands in Japan.
From the Rokkosan Distillery surrounded by Mt. Rokko’s abundant nature, a great voyage for their unrivaled whisky production has just set off.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, their grand opening was forced to be delayed. However, the Rokkosan Distillery was finally opened on July 1st, 2021. In addition, their facility tour for the general public also started on October 10th.
Today, we will take part in the tour and explore the facility and share with you the charm of the Rokkosan whisky.
In order to reach the Rokkosan Distillery, use the Rokko Cable Car service to get to Rokko Sanjo Station and transfer to the Rokko Sanjo bus and get off at the Memorial Monument bus stop.
After a 2-minute walk to the west from the bus stop, you can find the signboard of the distillery on the right-hand side. Walk up a slope and you will arrive at the distillery in about a minute.
Encircled with Mt. Rokko’s rich nature, the Rokkosan Distillery humbly shows its beautiful presence.
Cute and tiny lavender flowers are flourishing in front of the facility. Also, the autumn leaf viewing season is just around the corner.
The brick-based façade looks somewhat nostalgic.
The specious room right next to the entrance is called “Guest House”. As the room is made with wooden materials and bricks, the entire atmosphere of the room makes visitors feel very comfortable. Please take some time to enjoy taste testing their whisky lineup. (*The reception counter for the facility tour is here.)
Two types of blended malt whiskies are available now. Both are made using selectively chosen undiluted whisky from Scotland and the signature pure water from Mt. Rokko.
■「ROKKOSAN WHISKY 12 YEARS OLD」(Non peated) 720ml 7,975 yen (Tax included)
A combination of a sweet and warm flavor like honey and tropical banana and a spicy finish like ginger. It’s definitely a perfect harmony.
■「ROKKOSAN WHISKY 12 YEARS OLD Peated」(Heavily peated) 720ml 7,975 yen (Tax included)
A sweet and fruity flavor like honey orange intertwined with a smoky aroma of peat and salty scent from the sea. It’s a very sophisticated whisky.
The tour takes place on Sundays (4 tours a day)
*Go to the official website for more information↓
After a detailed explanation and caution, their guide will lead through the distillery.
Distillery (1st floor)
Copper pot still (The photo above)
The guide will explain the whisky production process from malting to distillation.
Thanks to the ionic reaction from the copper pot still, the removal effects of impurities in alcohol are highly expected.
Aging room (3rd floor)
In a cool and dark room, a warm light is illuminating 7 whisky barrels.
The wooden barrel creates an aroma and color that gives a unique flavor to the whisky.
The aging process greatly influences the taste and flavor of whisky. This aging room is filled with a nice subtle wooden aroma that makes time feel like it has stopped in its tracks here.
The window of the aging room is exclusively opened only during the tour time. Take delight in Rokko’s fabulous view from the window.
This classic barrel No.3 used to be a barrel for bourbon and the rest of the barrels were used for sherry. In order for the barrels to breathe and age whiskies ideally, the room temperature is well-maintained at 20℃. Creating a calm, silent, and smooth environment for the best aging is very important in the production process.
After the tour, at the Guest House, the tasting set is prepared for each visitor. It looks so stylish!
Taste the difference between ROKKOSAN WHISKY 12 YEARS OLD (Non peated) and ROKKOSAN WHISKY 12 YEARS OLD (Peated)!
If you don’t usually drink whisky, it would be a great opportunity to visit the only distillery in Kobe, feel the nature of Mt. Rokko, learn about the process of whisky production, experience the special atmosphere at the aging room, and enjoy the amazing aroma of Rokkosan whisky.
For those who want to enjoy tasting, the public transportation service is one of the best choices to visit the Rokkosan Distillery.
Check out the valuable ticket information↓
< Facility Information>
Address: 1034-229 Minamirokko Rokkosan-cho Nada-ku Kobe
TEL: 078-894-2225 (Japanese)
Access: 4 minute walk from Rokko Sanjo Bus “Memorial Monument” bus stop.
Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rokkosan_distillery/
■ Distillery Tour (Reservation required)
Reservation: Online (Via the official website: Japanese), Telephone (078-894-2221: Japanese)
Online reservation: https://airrsv.net/Rokkosan-Distillery/calendar (Japanese)
Fee: 1,500 yen
Takes place: on Sunday (Up to 10 people per each tour)
(10 am to 10:30 am / 11 am to 11:30 am / 2 pm to 2:30 pm / 3 pm to 3 30 pm)
*Please wait at the Guest House 10 minutes prior to the tour.
Also, please swing by the shops below to taste the Rokkosan whisky anytime!
■ Motomachi WHISKY
Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/motomachi_whisky/
Address: 1st floor 1-1-24 Sakaemachi-dori Chuo-ku Kobe
TEL: 078-391-2100 (Japanese)
Business hours: Noon – 8 pm
■ Ashiya WHISKY
Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ashiya_whisky/
Address: 3-33 Matsunouchi-cho Ashiya
TEL: 0797-61-5310 (Japanese)
Business hours: Noon – 8 pm